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on tap

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RATINGS: 425   WEIGHTED AVG: 3.75   SEASONAL: Special   EST. CALORIES: 300   ABV: 10%
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Barrel-aged version of Port Brewing Santas Little Helper.
2009 will be the inaugural release of this winter time classic. After brewing the 2008 batch of Santa’s we thought “wonder what this would taste like aged in a bourbon barrel?”

joes' rating

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 3/5   OVERALL 17/20
joes (71) - Oirschot, - OCT 12, 2012
Very dark brown beer, small dark beige head. Roasted malts, vanilla, raisins, ripe fruits and sweet alcohol aroma. A bit flat, low carbonation. Bourbon/vanilla/wood and sweet alcohol. A hint of sweet cherries, licorice. Good one, although I expected a bit more body.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 12/20
tmzl (82) - SLOVENIA - MAY 31, 2014
Taste-off: Santa’s Little Helper (S) vs. Santa’s Little Helper - Bourbon Barrel Aged (SBBA)

S: Pours with a huge, thick, creamy, billowy mocha head, has a good slow, equal retention (breakdown of medium sized bubbles). A very thick, medium-sized, creamy layer stays on top. Dark brown, heavy pour, fair amount of lacing.
SBBA: The head is a lot smaller, higher degree of medium/big bubbles, mocha head a bit lighter. Has a faster retention, mostly diminishing. Looks a bit more transparent and watery.

S: Cherry, dark fruit on opening, dominating roast, coffee and milk chocolate, stuffy, mostly dark malt driven. Light sourness, bit salty, soy sauce and some cookie dough.
SBBA: More dark fruit esters on opening, then goes to rum-kokos Casali chocolates with a lot of oak, vanilla. Roast, milk chocolate more on the side here. Alcohol with booze feeling, oak the most dominant aroma here.

S: Light acidity and molasses, burned sugar start with fruity forest esters. A bit rum-like transition into milky, dark malt medium sweetness that ends with medium dark coffee bitterness, it’s well developed. Small boozy spike towards the end.
SBBA: Bourbon oak dominates this one. Medium molasses, burned sugar sweet start with acidity turned down, the middle, which is overrun with oak dominance, a bit of milky backbone felt, but a lot more subtle. Ends with strong bourbon oak spike that dominates the after with turned down roast, coffee bitterness and alcohol.

S: Full, light heavy body, soft carbonation lingers on the tongue, quite pleasant.
SBBA: A bit lighter on the body (higher alcohol), light warmth, no carbonation to detect.

The non-barrel aged version is a lot smoother and very drinkable. Solid, not too demanding take on imperial stouts. The bourbon one is a lot sluttier, the oak is (too) heavy and goes down a lot slower. The age in barrels didn’t make it better IMO.

   AROMA 7/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 15/20
bytemesis (2917) - Sunnyvale, California, USA - MAY 25, 2014
Bottle from 2012. Pours opaque black with a small quickly dissipating beige head that leaves some lacing. Aroma is bourbon, molasses, chocolate, oak, vanilla. Flavor follows, medium sweet and light bitter, bourbon, chocolate and dark sugars. Well balanced and minimal astringency. Medium plus body.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 5/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Vestergaard (257) - Aarhus C, DENMARK - MAY 12, 2014
Pours pitch Black with a nut Brown fluffy head. Huge vanilla in aroma, so much bourbon. Lil boozy. Taste is very burned. Caramel, chocolate, slightly thin Body. Lots of gun powder, bourbon, oak. Very vinous. Little overkill in bourbon, but lovely beer! ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
Lukasmh (48) - Aarhus, DENMARK - MAY 12, 2014
UPDATED: MAY 13, 2014 Bottle @Fermentoren Aarhus. Pours dark blank black. Quick off-white head. Aroma is bourbon, vanilla, dark fruits. Taste is sweet, prunes. Sticky bourbon finish. ---Rated via Beer Buddy for iPhone

   AROMA 9/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 16/20
weaselkenievil (1606) - Cheshire, ENGLAND - APR 23, 2014
Bottle at 4:20. Alex you’re a legend. Poured black with a medium light brown head. Bourbon aroma, wood, vanilla, smooth chocolate. Very nice indeed, decent dollop of alcohol, very me.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 8/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
TaktikMTL (5628) - Montréal-Nord, Quebec, CANADA - APR 11, 2014
Brassin 2013. En fût. Verre de 12 oz dégusté chez Armsby Abbey (Worcester, MA) au coût de 12,00$. Arôme: Odeur de bourbon avec une pointe de café. Apparence: La couleur est noire opaque. Présence d’un moyen col brun mousseux et d’une fine dentelle sur le verre. Saveur: Goût de café et de bourbon avec une pointe de chocolat. Longue durée de l’arrière goût. Palette: Le corps est moyen avec une texture onctueuse. Faible effervescence en bouche. Présence de bourbon en arrière goût. (Rating #5539)

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
mmahut (894) - CZECH REPUBLIC - APR 2, 2014
Pours black body with quickly fading tan, almost brown, head. Aroma has woody character upfront, light dark chocolate, roasty, licorice, plums. You can also get hints of alcohol on the nose. Taste has dried raisins sweetness with woody and earthy bitterness. Body is full, medium carbonation, oily texture, creamy.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 4/5   TASTE 7/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 17/20
MaroonOrange (127) - - MAR 12, 2014
Very dark pour. Lots of dark malt, chocolate, figs, ripe stone fruit, and bourbon. Quite sweet with a dark malt bitterness. Very complex and strong.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 2/5   TASTE 5/10   PALATE 2/5   OVERALL 13/20
ross (2073) - weddington, North Carolina, USA - MAR 12, 2014
2009 or 2010 bottle, I forgot which. I think it came to me from the Sinners Club. Black color, no head - flat. Mouthfeel is oily, thick, and of course, flat. Huge bourbon and coffee aroma with some toffee as well. Little bit of hop kick. This had the potential to be a great stout, but because it was flat, it really disappointed me. Too bad I will probably never try this again on a bottle that is actually good.

   AROMA 8/10   APPEARANCE 3/5   TASTE 9/10   PALATE 4/5   OVERALL 18/20
brenn79 (1467) - Idaho, USA - FEB 8, 2014
22 oz bottle, 2013 vintage- Pours inky black with a thin (that I had to rigorously pour to get) mocha colored head and little lace. The aroma is licorice, leather, oak, figs, chocolate, appealing yet the norm for the style. The taste is velvety smooth, the bourbon is mellow and well integrated, coffee and chocolate, licorice, oak. Body is huge, mouthfeel is creamy and carbonation is very soft and subtle. I loved the original and this is a great beer as well, would love to compare the two.

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